Find a more humane solution

for The Brooklyn Paper
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The Humane Society of the United States calls on New York officials to immediately halt a program to kill resident Canada geese and instead devise a plan that will truly protect public safety by clearing geese from certain areas.

The inhumane, ineffective and costly “catch and kill” program currently underway in Prospect Park is not only the wrong way to address the goose population, but also unsupported by science.

Scientists at the Smithsonian Institute have examined feather remains from a recent bird strike against an airplane and determined that the Canada geese involved were from a migrating population, not the local resident populations targeted by these hastily implemented roundups. This is a crucial distinction as each bird population has distinct flight patterns, coverage and other behavioral differences that need to be considered — not the least of which is that migratory geese require more elaborate techniques to monitor and control.

Studies have shown that the answer to improving airport safety lies not in repeated removal of wildlife. A killing program merely opens up habitat for other geese to fill, and might actually perpetuate the problem as “new” birds continue to fly into the area. Rather, the answer is to go directly to the source — i.e. to airports and surrounding areas and render them undesirable habitats for birds to nest, reproduce, seek forage and refuge. Egg addling and contraceptive baits can also help.

Many of the geese now being killed would never have been hatched if the city had adopted The Humane Society of the United States’ recommendations in 2009 to implement a comprehensive and humane program that included, among other steps, making goose eggs unviable. Communities across the country have had tremendous success with such programs — treating eggs so they don’t hatch, modifying habitats so they don’t attract geese, and using trained dogs to make geese fly elsewhere. A comprehensive, transparent and publicly supported management plan which includes these components is sorely needed now when public awareness is high.

Patrick Kwan is New York state director for The Humane Society of the United States.

Updated 5:19 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Daniel says:
This is all so reasonable -- there are humane alternatives, and these are more effective than cruelty.
July 21, 2010, 8:48 am
joe from ia. says:
They want to get rid of them now so they aren't going to cause plane wrecks. shoot them and eat them and the problem is gone.
July 21, 2010, 6:49 pm
Shelly says:
So the HSUS wants all dogs spayed or neutered and now doesn't want goose eggs hatched.
Sounds to me like HSUS would be perfectly fine with an animal free world then there would be no pets as well as no meat.
July 21, 2010, 7:59 pm
Hillary, HSUS says:
Canada geese, like all animals, have inherent value, but it's a losing situation when their populations are allowed to expand unchecked in places where they aren't wanted. The purpose of preventing goose eggs from hatching is to avoid the kind of mass roundups that are happening in New York City and other communities.
July 21, 2010, 10:19 pm
borderbetty from bensonhurst says:
So its ok to harass geese with dogs? A Canada goose manufactures 1 pound of goose turd every day. And who is going to go find all the goose eggs to adle? And whose taxpayer money will be used for this? Take out the geese. Cook them and help to feed the poor and homeless.
July 22, 2010, 8:24 am
Lilly says:
Hillary HSUS, it is interesting that HSUS always comes up with an answer that is not the answer. Goose is a good protein source and a renewable resource so make use of them. Gather them and distribute the meat to the people who need it. But...that would be too simple and logical for HSUS. It might also help people who eat meat. Heaven forbid!
July 22, 2010, 9:03 am
reg says:
Hillary get smart wipe them out so people can take off and land saflely connon sense tells you that.
July 22, 2010, 12:35 pm
katrina from east village says:

What happened to Sarah 2005? Did she quit the HSUS damage control department and get a legitimate job? Did she die of embarassment?

Seriously, I do think NY has mishandled the geese situation and agree with some of what Patrick Kwan says. Problem is, HSUS has lost credibility with responsible government agencies and the donor public due to all the scandals, investigations, lies, fraud and abuse.
July 22, 2010, 1:47 pm
Dr_Rosset from Queens says:
HSUS is not interested in the geese Pacelle is interested in cooking your goose. He has no background in animal science. His background was with the ALF who let animals loose to die. That is their only goal. Addled their eggs. Really this man is addled as are his followers. The HSUS has become another cult just like Jim Jones. Wayne even looks like Jim Jones. These geese if captured and settled in another area will only come back. They will continue to drop poop, be sucked into engines and damage the park. Tell Wayne and Patrick to take a hike as they are scam artists who only want your money. Know that HSUS spends less than .4% of the 500 million it has collected from pet lovers who thought this money was going to help homeless animals. 500 million these people ought to be ashamed as that would have housed and cared for every homeless animal for the duration of its life. Instead they go after your food supply, your medical research and your children. Note that the leader of this movement Peter Singer just wrote an article advocating that all human beings should die off. That is who these people really are wolves in sheeps clothing pretending to care when in fact they charge all shelters $20,000 dollars for one of their idiotic workshops on how to kill animals.
July 22, 2010, 1:59 pm
al pankin from downtown says:
you have to be nuts to keep writing about these geese, a real good use for them would have been to cook them and give them to meal on wheels.
stop wasting any more copy space on this topic.
July 22, 2010, 2:13 pm
Helen J says:

Maybe Pacelle and Kwan would like to rethink the geese population. If below is the animals roaming the earth free of human intervention as HSUS would like to see, then please come and get 50 or 60 that inhabit our property and pond and kill our grass, don't forget water run off when there is no grass. HSUS running in to save the geese, just like stopping bear hunting in New Jersey by HSUS. Now look, bear run ins with people in every county in New Jersey. I do not believe Wayne's or Kwan's animal eutopia sounds, at all, very good to me. Please do not donate to any vegan animal rights social movement. Laws are written and lobbied for by HSUS until they find a sympathetic gov. officials who may not know "jack" which in the end makes it more difficult to control geese, just like the bears in N.J.....guess we will hearing more about Bears in N. J. and the geese in N.Y. from Mr. Pacelle, Humane Hiliary and Kwan.

There is another side to the problem of goose droppings: they’re not just unsightly and disgusting to walk on, they often contain parasitic forms which, when they contaminate surface waters, can cause outbreaks of diarrheal parasitic disease in people. The best known of these parasites are Giardia lamblia and Cryptosporidium parvum.

Read more at Suite101: The Canada Goose and Parasites: Canada Geese Unwittingly Spread Cryptosporidium sp. and Giardia sp.
July 22, 2010, 2:38 pm
Hillary, HSUS says:
There are several groups that have developed comprehensive programs around humane goose control like GeesePeace (, and more locally, GeeseOff ( From what I know of other communities that have implemented non-lethal solutions, egg addling is often done by local volunteers. Public safety must clearly be a priority, but the geese that collided with Capt. Sully's plane belonged to a migrating population and not to the resident geese that are being rounded up. The city will end up paying hundreds of thousands of dollars for a short-term plan that allows more geese to move in after the current population has been removed. Putting animal welfare aside, this seems like a poor return on investment.
July 22, 2010, 3:36 pm
Susan says:
Right Hillary, HSUS. Let's let Wayne Pacelle and HSUS capture all the geese in NY, tag them with yellow ribbons for migrating geese, pink ribbons for local geese, and then when a plane hits a local goose you can say it was the plane's fault since local geese don't do that! There wasn't a goose problem until some do gooders thought that more geese was a good thing. Hunters use to keep the populations under control quite fine. Let's cook the goose and resolve the problem for real while feeding people that need the meat. Your goal Hillary HSUS is not animal welfare, it is animal rights. In your world animals have more rights that people. Reality doesn't exist in your world.
July 22, 2010, 5:16 pm
Yohav from Williamsburg says:
I propose we get rid of the goose advocates along with the geese. Apparently those bird brains like walking through that mess. Have they ever had to pick up one of their toddlers and run because of a hissing goose getting ready to strike? Have they ever had to shampoo the poop off of their car floor mats? Have they ever had to try to console a crying child who slipped and fell down in goose crap? Have they ever gone to a park to toss a Frisbee around only to have to leave, disgusted because of all of the goose crap? I am all for saving the geese- if there is another way of protecting our citizens from this unclean, unhealthy, undignified, undesirable, uncool mess that only gets worse as the summer progresses. If they really, really care about the geese and want to save them, then why don't they do the obvious- get out there on their hands and knees and clean up the poop themselves? The only possible explanation is that they must have some sort of sick fetish with the goose excretion.
July 22, 2010, 6:41 pm
Ginger says:
I'm surprised that HSUS hasn't come up with the obvious solution: If it's only migrating geese that collide with airplanes, let HSUS institute an education program for all migrant geese, teaching them to read flight plans that avoid our airports, and then compelling them to follow the plans.

HSUS is always referring to "studies" but I've yet to see any scientific evidence to support the positions they endorse.
July 22, 2010, 9:01 pm
Steven Rosenberg from Park Slope says:
This is typical leftist drivel...find a better way...yeah, anyone is opposed to that?

Lets fit all female geese with IUDs!
July 23, 2010, 10:26 pm

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